Language Development In Kids -Milestones, Development Stages And Activities

Language is the base of communication for humans. The first 3 years of life when the brain is still developing and learning, the most important bit is the growth of child language development.

Although, you have to understand and remember that every child is different and they reach milestones at different pace and ways. What you speak at home and how you do it has a big hand in the child’s language skill development. You must know what to expect and when, and hence we have few pointers for you to read and comprehend.

Language development in kids from 1-2 years are fun and amazing. Your child tries to understand what ever you speak to them. And with their all weird actions, you might as well try to understand what they want to say in turn or mean. Below, is some age wise guide of what you must expect for language development in early childhood and the importance of language development in kids.


What are the Milestones for Development of Speech and Language?

First, lets try and understand what are the stages of language development in kids. The first sign of communication is when the baby learns to cry which in turn brings them comfort, milk or feed, and company. This is pretty much the first stage where the newborn recognizes the importance of sound in their life and environment. The voice of their mother or caretaker, becomes the one they recognize at the beginning. As the babies grow, their speech sounds that they try to compose becomes their language medium. By the time the baby turns 6 months old, they recognize the sounds of their native language in which their parents converse with them.

The development of speech and language skills vary in every child. They however, follow the mandatory path of progression or timelines for mastering the language skills. If you are wondering how these milestones help you or the kid? - They basically give you an outline to track and keep a health check if they are doing good or need an extra help. Sometimes a delay means they might have speech or language disorder which must be helped by professionals.

Quick Difference between Voice, Speech and Language:

Voice, speech and language make the ingredients and tools of communication skill.Voice is the sound that we make as air passes from our lungs and pushed between the vocal folds in out larynx, making them vibrate and produce noise.

Speech becomes the talking, where, you express yourself in a language. The coordination of muscle actions of tongue, jaw, the lips and vocal tract to act together and produce recognizable sound making a language for communication.

Language is set of agreed and shared rules that allow a group of people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. IT can be expressed by verbally, writing, gestures, singing and other voluntary movements of eyes or mouth and parts of body.

Vocabulary and Language Development in kids of 1-2 years:

By this age of 1-2, your little one would have learnt and in process of learning to use and understand more types of words and expressions. At the beginning, they will understand the nouns standalone like dog, bus, toy, nose, etc. Gradually when they hears them often, they realize the verbs like eat, run, cry etc. The adjectives like red, big, tiny, pretty comes after this.


At around 12 months of age, the kid will understand the names and relates it in real life when they look at the things. They know what a doll is or a cup , tummy, a spoon, clothes like socks, jacket etc. But the child would refer the same as different words which are comfortable for them to pronounce (Which is the cutest part of their learning cycle). For example: All dogs could be “doggie” for the little one. They use such self build words to communicate with you. The babble will start turning into some real words like “me go”, “daddy car”, “no go” etc. Where there would not be much of pronunciations or articles. More nouns combined with very little verb and nearly few adjective would make their statements. Their pronunciation might not be the same like they might say “tar” instead of “car” and eat away half words such as “ca” for “cat” etc.


Then comes the 15 months old kid, who would learn to point to things further with curiosity asking what it is named and what is it for. The pronunciation will be tough to understand as they are learning. Some one like you who talks to your child daily can understand about half of what they start saying very easily. They learn to draw attention towards something by pointing at it. Or say “Look”. They understand when you say “No” or “Yes” and what you mean by it. They know there are consequences attached.


At around 18 months, the kid learns to refer themselves and related to their name. Gradually starts to use I and refers to themself as “I”. This is when they have a strong recognition of themselves as an individual and have their own ideas. They start combine words, gestures and sounds making it easier for you to decipher your baby’s language.

The very common things they learn and grip about could be “wave goodbye”, “give me a kiss”, “Do not do that” or “Stop that” and few more simple things. They also understand the different body parts and happily point to them when asked. Children learn to imitate the actions of elders and people around them such that they get attention from others and might as well learn and love to “show off” their skills too. You can say overall kids have above 4 stages of language development which differs from child to child on their learning abilities.

How to Help your Child to Language Development:

Parents play the major important role in the language development in a child’s life. It has been proven that children who are read aloud by their parents or care taker on a regular basis in their early childhood learn larger vocabulary and better grammar as they grow as compared to who don’t. There are simple language developments activities that you can encourage as a routine daily. Some simple ways to help your child learn the language and develop the skills of communication are as below.


1. Talk, talk, and talk:

As the days pass by, the children must always be spoken to whether or not they understand or respond to it. Like “Its your feed time sweetie”, “Now we are going to take bath”, “Let’s get dressed and go out for a walk” etc.

2. Read Aloud to them:

It is never too early to read to your baby. The one good practice for getting your baby to walk through the success ladder academically would be to be read aloud when they are young. Parents can start the simple lullabies or bed time stories to show them the pictures and put them to sleep. As the child gets older, they develop a liking for the books and affinity towards reading.

Read Related: 15 Top Selling Favorite Rhyme Books For Kids

3. Story Telling:

Fantasy world is always exciting and you want your baby to dream about the magical world of adventure and characters. Make elaborate stories which helps your little one to put on their imaginative caps and develop interest . Be sure the stories aren’t going to scare your little one.

4. Enjoy the Music:

I am sure they would have enjoyed some music while they were in their mumma’s sack as well. Young kids also love and enjoy music. They respond to it with some movements and enact as you do. Nursery rhymes are the best ones as they have brilliant music and rhythm to it which lets your kid enjoy.

5. Do not Criticize:

It is okay if your baby is putting in efforts to use different nouns to make a sentence. Do not go back to them saying that is wrong and correct them. Instead, appreciate their efforts and encourage them to speak more. Give your child some great praises for their hard work and be patient with them.

6. Use the screen and Technology Sparingly:

There are educational benefits in TV or iPads available for the kids but it is recommended that they must not watch them more than 2 hours a day before they turn 2 years of age.

Read Related: What is right age to introduce your child to computer and technology?

7. Go outdoors to Teach More:

You must take your kid along to zoo, museums, aquariums and other such places where they can relate the book images and pictures to the real life and learn more. Their fascination of knowing the animals and fun activities is a great experience for them to learn.

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